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[Amateur films: Ivan Besse collection: Britton, South Dakota 1938-39] (Part I)

Published 1938

Daily life in a South Dakota town during the Great Depression, shot by Ivan Besse.

Run time 19:09
Producer Besse (Ivan)
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Si, B&W




Reviewer: RogerDaCodger - - June 27, 2015
Subject: Genuinely Beautiful
Few films have had such an effect on my emotions as this little jewel. Especially the reactions of the ladies and those
fabulous smiles. All the reactions of all the folks. The guy that filmed this must have had a ball. I ain't no sissy, but the overwhelming sense of joy 'bout brought tears to my eyes. I love this film.
Reviewer: littonracker - - December 24, 2013
Subject: A Look at an America That Was
This collection of movies is very fascinating to me. I've watched every one of 'em and enjoyed the experience immensely. I went to Google Earth and looked at the locations of much of the filming and was amazed at how empty and lifeless it now appears to be. It certainly causes one to question the value of "progress".
Reviewer: The_Emperor_Of_Television - - February 15, 2013
Subject: 1930s people doing their 1930s thing
Charming footage, I found the cars during the parade to be particularly interesting.
Reviewer: eydie - - September 9, 2012
Subject: awesome
i love the girls who hid their faces or ran smiling from the camera, the guy who made the wiggly fingers on his nose. they look happy and some of the girls were sooo pretty. i love this, i wish someone had done this in our town. what a wonderful piece of living history. the only sad part: i wonder how many of these people are still alive. they aren't young and pretty anymore.
Reviewer: - - March 31, 2011
Subject: family
Its so nice that he had these made for the next generations. I can now see what my mom K. Johnson was talking about with her home town! I admire everyone back then! No matter how tough things get, hold your head high! Very nice to see my Aunt Annie Gunderson in this, whom my middle name was after.
Reviewer: ERD. - - January 2, 2010
Subject: Delightful amateur film (Part 1) of South Dakota town in the lated 1930's
Mr. Besse did a nice job filming the people and activities of his town, Britton, South Dakota,during 1938-39. In part I, the babies and children seen are very cute, and the citzens looked like a very nice bunch of people. I am glad this silent black & white historic documentary has been preserved. All the parts should be watched.
Reviewer: Crod Rootnum - - August 11, 2009
Subject: Some Hometown Fun
I figured at the start of the film that the kids were gathered to watch the public flogging of the town barber. Poor little survivers of bad hair cuts!
Other than that, I thought everyone seemed in good spirits, with the photographer seemingly picking out all the towns pretty girls.
Reviewer: norton67 - - December 7, 2007
Subject: see what u wanna see I guess.
I thought this was cool and didn't see the negative things some other reviewers mentioned even though they gave the film high marks. I thought most people WERE smiling and happy. The parade was kinda funky but I bet it was fun. I got a real good feeling seeing this film.
Reviewer: TrapperJohn - - September 21, 2007
Subject: Beautyful
This ia amazing.But you have to look behind the action.It seems that behind the few buildings there is just a big emptynes,when you look at the people who just walked by you sense some kind of hollownes.I recognise the images from films of people in the Netherlands after the depression years.There is hope again,action;but they all look as if they have been beaten up in the past.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - December 10, 2005
Subject: The Lady On The Roof
I liked this installment of Besses travels in his own back yard.. Here we discover the shell shocked kids of the town. None of them are really smiling, most are just wondering whats going on. Perhaps during this time, noone really had a camera? We then go to what Besse does best, shoot people on the street and see how they react. Some of them cower, some of them smile, but best of all, I like how some people walk past with this damned If Im going to take part in this expression. We also see some shots of unexplained thing. Was that a rather large wheel with rats on it? Was that an oil rig? We then watch a pretty lame parade with practically every single business having a car in it with streamers on it. And a pretty lady on the roof if youre lucky. And a pretty lady on the roof with streamers on her neck if youre really lucky. And 3 pretty ladies, 1 on the roof, 2 on the bumper if youre really really lucky. If you cant find any, just use any spare children and disregard any child safety laws.. After that, we go to school! Well, outside of a school, where we see mostly older kids going to school, the yunguns are just below camera range, those camera hogs. Soon, theyre JAMMED into school, my goodness! No Pushing!

I loved it! This is a MUST SEE on this site!
Reviewer: cashel - - December 9, 2003
Subject: The real U.S.A.
In 1938,Mr.besse,a projectionist at the Strand cinema made actuality movies in around his home town of britton ,s.dakota..Here we have...1. delighful cameos of little children 2.residents filmed in the main street as they go about shopping 3.The xmas street parade...This is still held in britton and reported in the local newspaper which can be read on the internet 4 football match.. Mr Besse still lives in Britton and the strand cinema is open and proudly supported by the town
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